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calvinhg's '97 f350 -- aka Spartacus

 
  #1  
Old 05-06-2019, 10:11 PM
calvinhg
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Talking calvinhg's '97 f350 -- aka Spartacus

Hello!

I just bought my first truck, a black 1997 f350 crew cab long bed, with 4wd, zf5, and 308k miles. Now, I do have a lot to say, but lets see a few pics first




That's my brother. He helped a lot with the cleaning.


And now, onto the meat of the matter
The truck runs and drives pretty well, front end and tranny were done a little over 100k ago, engine is stock except for an aftermarket air filter. I do feel some play in the steering, and the idle surges a little when warm.
The body is pretty rough, on the other hand. Dents and scratches, paint overspray, and the paint is cracking on the hood and the top of the cab, but thats not that big of a deal. The bed, now, has a fair amount of rust, especially under the headache rack and at the front of the floor. I should take some pics. Oh and the front is bent forward, and the tailgate got bent out by a forklift, I was told.
The interior too is showing its age... The dash is brittle (I wasn't careful enough and broke a lot of clips while trying to fix the wait to start / water in fuel light), the driver door panel has lost its main support, the passenger door panel speaker has a big hole (I really should take more pics). Oh and it was dirty. But I got a couple before/after pics, yay! I'll post them later on.

I'm gonna look for a parts truck, hopefully 4wd crew cab with a dead engine and lower miles so I can start fixing these things bugging me.

The purpose for this post is for documenting my work on the truck, as well as asking the many questions I will have, and sharing with others who will hopefully learn a thing or two.
And I do joke around a lot, so please bear with me, and tell me if I go overboard, underboard, or even floorboard! Oh heck I did it again.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! More to come soon!
Calvin
 
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:22 PM
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Stuff I plan on doing, not in any specific order:

- install a viper alarm system with remote start (do it myself)
- clearance lights
- light bar
- front bumper? Not sure about it, but I really don't wanna drill my chrome bumper for the light bar
- paint the top half of the truck white (Texas is hot in summer!)
- bigger mirrors
- dually
- bigger back fuel tank
- space the wheels out a tiny bit
- windshield wiper mod? switching the small shaft to a bigger one so I can put superduty wipers on (has anyone done this?)
- constant throttle mod (put some kinda clamp on the throttle cable I can control while driving) so apparently this has an electronic throttle... Bummer
- replace the bed
- train horns? really not sure about that, but it would be cool

Stuff to fix:

- hood is not lined up
- driver side door panel, possibly door to be replaced
- driver seat needs padding
- surging idle when warm
- driver mirror very loose
- new dash probably
 
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:52 PM
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First step: Cleaning

The truck was pretty dirty, especially the interior. I didn't take that many pics before, but here are a couple:


We took both rows of seats out to clean the whole thing. Helped a lot.

Ever running low on cash, but really bad? Take your center console apart.

So much money! And screws! Not that much money actually.

The dash was probably the dirtiest, unfortunately I didn't take any pics before. But here's a pic of after my brother cleaned it up

Tuff Stuff is what did the trick. Spray, let it foam up for 10 seconds, and wipe it. Or you can vacuum it if it's carpet. After using it so much, I did notice that it is a little sticky.

The bellows were filthy. Again, my brother did great work. By the way, that's the carpet after cleaning.

The steering wheel has a cover. You may want to take yours off and see what you find!

Like new!

That's all the pics I got for the cleaning.
I got neoprene seat covers, which apparently require wetsuit shampoo to be cleaned, and you gotta keep them on the seats... No thank you! I just vacuumed them up, and the dirtiest one I took and cleaned with dog shampoo, which worked really well.
The hinges on the center console were dying, so I replaced them with big nails. Works great! (I didn't take pics.......)
Oh, and the windshield was so dirty... Cleaning it with window cleaner made such a big difference!
 
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Old 05-06-2019, 11:05 PM
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Misc stuff we did:

Headlights needed polishing up. It made a difference, but still not good enough... I'll probably end up getting new ones.

Before / After


The passenger mirror was bent really bad. I was told the previous owner got it like that, and when he asked he didn't get an answer... But anyway, it looks a whole lot better now. You can still see on the top mount that the door itself is bent.


The taillights also polished up pretty well

Before / After


The overspray. It's pretty bad... All over the passenger side, the tailgate and even the windshield! I took a knife and removed the stuff on the windows. Not too sure how I'll get the stuff off the other spots though...



That's all for now! It's late and I got a job interview at 9 tomorrow (what am I still doing up ). But I'll post some more tomorrow... About the DRLs! Hint: nobody likes them (at least I don't)
Anyway, if you read it this far, thank you! See y'all later!
 
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:50 AM
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Blowout damage:

The PO had the passenger rear blow out on the highway, and caused some damage to the exhaust and the outer bed siding.

As you can see the exhaust is pointed upwards... It also was out of the hanger. Sprayed some oil and it popped right back in.

We just cut the end off, right after the hanger.

You can also see the back fender brace (not sure that's what it's called) is missing on the pics. I'll either make one or get one off a parts truck.
 
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:21 AM
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DRL Module delete:

My truck came with DRLs (daily running lights). What does that mean? The high beams are on all the time at 80%, unless the parking break is on, or the headlight switch is on. Does anyone like that? I sure don't. So I looked up how to disable them.
So I came across this article (https://www.blueovaltech.com/tech/drl.php), which stated the module on 1998 and older trucks was under the dash, above the glove box. Bummer. I started taking the dash apart, but found out I would need to take the whole dash out to access that location... And as I looked at it, it sure didn't seem to be there. So I poked around a bit and lo and behold, it was on the radiator support, right in front of the driver side wheel!

There is only one bold holding it in. The other side just slides in a hole.

Tip: Do not be fooled, I put it back up there to take the pic. You will have a hard time unplugging it in place. So unbolt it, and then unplug it.

Here is the module, in all its (non)glory...

Now this is all fun and games, but the problem is if you simply unplug it, you won't get a warning light on your dash if the parking brake is on. So how do you fix that?
Turns out all you gotta do is jump two connectors. Look at the pic to see which need to be jumped. The parking brake will still activate the light on the dash, and it will go off when the parking brake is off. Profit???

Just jump these two connections. Nice thing is, even if the connector is rotated, it's the same two connections to jump!

Now I don't want the connector dangling down by the road. So I pulled it up, by the battery:

This is what you need to pull on to pull it out.

Next I wrapped it around and around with electrical tape, and put a zip tie around it to keep it from coming off (hopefully).

Then I put it down in front of the battery tray. It has reached its final resting place.

The end! I hope you enjoyed my guide. Thanks for reading it this far!
 
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:12 PM
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Random connectors disconnected?

I was looking for the throttle cable (turns out its electronic ) and found this little guy, which seems like it should be connected... Although so far the truck runs ok, so I don't know if I should plug it back in

There also is this guy, at the front of the engine... Didn't manage to find a place to connect it, although I didn't look for long.



Meanwhile, I looked at the throttle, and this is the bad apple. I can't have a constant throttle like this! So I'm thinking I may buy a second one as well as a connector, and have two TPS (that's what it's called, throttle position sensor).
The first one would be at the normal place, and I would have an override switch that would connect to the second one, which I would have up on the dash, with some kinda **** I could turn with my hand and have it stay.
Not for today though, nor the near future. I don't know yet how I would go about the switch.


Also looked at the parking brake which seems a bit weak, but there is no adjustment on the frame rail like my dad's '86 6.9 has. Saw on another forum that it was auto-adjusting, and if I pulled on the release and gave the cable some slack at the same time, it would tighten it up a bit. Tried that, but I'm not sure it made a difference. I'll see tomorrow when I drive.
 
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:46 PM
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I'm the dad. This post is also about Calvin's truck. https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...-pictures.html
Next time I see a guy in a 2-door OBS, I'm going to ask if I can look inside to check out the door panels.

Calvin's truck was so dirty that I had to wash my Carhartts after I sat in it. He forgot to mention his little sister and even a dog helped clean it. The dog is nuts, licks tires and foot pedals on our UTVs.
 
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:20 PM
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DRL - daytime running lights

Second throttle position sensor (TPS) controlled with a **** inside the cab for what purpose?
 

Last edited by My4Fordtrucks; 05-08-2019 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Corrected punctuation
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by My4Fordtrucks View Post
DRL - daytime running lights

Second throttle position sensor (TPS! controlled with a **** inside the cab for what purpose?
It's my fault. I told him about my old Land Cruiser FJ45LV where I had a Man-a-Fre carb conversion with hand throttle cable. It was useful at times. Now Calvin wants a hand throttle.
 
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:41 PM
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I’m fairly certain the computer controlled system wouldn’t like that.

Those headlights cleaned up pretty good. The aftermarket lights
might not be as good as the OEM parts. I’d run ‘um as is.
 
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by My4Fordtrucks View Post
Im fairly certain the computer controlled system wouldnt like that.

Those headlights cleaned up pretty good. The aftermarket lights
might not be as good as the OEM parts. Id run um as is.
The system would probably throw a code and shut down. The throttle system is lawyer territory.

We've had good results with 1A Auto replacement lights. They also stand behind them. Once when 1A was out of stock I tried Amazon. Clearly lower quality and sloppy fit.
 
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:12 PM
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Yes indeed my sister helped. Thx sista!

About the manual throttle, it's mainly so I can have constant throttle when driving on the highway (going to a show), and being able to turn the idle up on cold mornings.
I know I could use a tuner for the second reason, but constant throttle really helps fuel mileage, compared to the cruise control.
It doesn't really hurt to try... If it doesn't work I have a spare tps! Not like they last forever anyway...

Edit: took a peek at the interweb, and found this article that explains what switch I need: a triple pole dual throw switch (3PDT). Should do the job. And if it doesn't work, not only do I have a spare tps and wiring for it, I also have a cool switch 😎
 
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:19 AM
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That's a nice looking truck you have there. Looks to be in pretty good shape for 300k+ miles.

Another thing that could help mileage and make the truck run smoother is converting it to E-fuel from the mechanical pump. I plan to do this on my truck.

I don't know anything about the hand throttle but whatever you do, I'm sure you'll take pictures and let us know!
 
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:20 AM
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Subbed cool truck
 

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